The striker said he was in the best shape of his career after being reunited with Paul Lambert at Aston Villa
Grant Holt admitted that he has a point to prove to some Aston Villa fans who have questioned the wisdom of the club signing him on loan from Wigan Athletic. The striker has insisted that he is in "the best shape" of his career and vowed to silence his critics between now and the end of the season.
Holt has scored only twice in the Championship since joining Wigan last summer but the 32-year-old is convinced that being reunited with Paul Lambert, the manager he enjoyed such success under at Norwich City, will bring out the best in him during his loan spell at Villa Park.
"I'm sure there are a lot of people who have seen the move and thought: 'He won't do that and what are they doing that for?' Half of Villa fans have probably said that and half are probably excited by it, that's just football," Holt said. "Everyone has got an opinion. It's up to me to prove that opinion wrong. I've done that before. I've been quite fortunate that when I get doubted I normally turn it around and shove it …"
Holt scored 23 goals in 70 Premier League games for Norwich, including 15 in his first season in the top flight, in 2011-12, when Lambert was in charge. He left Carrow Road for Wigan in July the goals have not flowed so freely and Uwe Rösler, who replaced Owen Coyle as manager last month, was happy to allow Holt to leave.
"I think I've got a point to prove," Holt said. "I think everyone thinks I've gone to the Championship and I've just failed, and everyone was probably expecting me to move down to another team in the Championship. But he's given me the opportunity to come in at a fantastic club with some fantastic players to show everyone that I can still do it. And I believe I'm in the best shape I've ever been in, body-wise and physical-wise, and it's up to me to go and show that now."
With so many young players in a Villa squad short of confidence on the back of losing six of their past eight matches, Holt's arrival will add some much-needed experience. "One of the aims is to come and help them along.
"Everyone says that they're a young bunch of lads, sometimes you need that person to talk to, and you do need that bit of confidence or drive to say: 'You can do this.' And that's what I will do. [Lambert] didn't come into Norwich and make me captain straight away for no reason. I'm sure he realised what I did as captain at Norwich and hopefully I can give them that little bit of experience here."
Holt said he was excited by the prospect of playing for Lambert again. "I think everyone knows that he got the best out of me where he has been. This is an opportunity that I'm going to take with both hands. I know how difficult it is to get games and goals in this league, but I think I can do that. I've had two seasons in it, 15 goals the first year, eight last year, and I'm confident I can do it again."